Bottle Rocket (1996) Movie Review

Wes Anderson tends to be hit or miss for me. I love Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr. Fox, they both had a unique style, great performances, and well-written stories. Other times, I won’t like his films such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou where the humor didn’t work for me and most of the film lacked much of an actual plot. Nearly the same goes for Bottle Rocket, his first film. Digan (Owen Wilson) rescues (but not really, he was getting out anyway) Anthony (Luke Wilson) from a psychiatric unit and Digan shows his plan of being involved in heists and building an entire life plan from there. The entire movie doesn’t actually have much of a plot. In fact, it reminded me of a movie like Slacker directed by Richard Linklater, except unlike Slacker, this movie involved all of the same characters being involved in conversations about a whole lot of nothing where as Slacker involved multiple people in random conversations.

Owen and Luke Wilson definitely play there roles with some charisma and are fairly entertaining but the writing itself…is just kind of boring. The humor was lacking. I laughed here and there but it wasn’t very often. And besides that, the plot is still so unbelievably empty. Barely anything happens up until the last 10 minutes which are arguably the most entertaining part of the film. The enjoyment of this film really depends on if you like the dialogue. For me, it kept me uninterested most of the time except the occasional peak moments of humor and the charisma from the actors. Spiced throughout the film, you notice Anderson’s beginnings of his style from his music choices, some of his camera choices, amongst other things which was nice to see as a fan of some of his movies. Overall, I’d consider this a film a bit of a disappoint but I can’t say I full-on hated it, it was an oddly relaxing film to watch, maybe due to its simplicity even if it is much too simple.

2.5/5 stars.


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